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Gainesville Correctional Institution to become homeless assistance center

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The Gainesville Correctional Institution, located at 2845 NE 39 Ave., will become a homeless assistance center.

Theresa Lowe, director of the Gainesville/Alachua County Office on Homelessness, said the property will also be used for other projects. The city is negotiating with the Florida Department of Justice to purchase the property.

Members of the Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry are traveling to Atlanta to visit the Gateway Center, a homeless assistance center housed in a former jail that opened about five years ago. The goal of the trip is to learn from the Gateway Center’s progress and mistakes, Lowe said. The Gainesville center will provide services to teach people how to stay out of homelessness and fight poverty.

It is unknown how long the transition from jail to homeless shelter may take.

Michelle Plitnikas wrote this story online.

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